Heliconia are some of my favorite flowering tropical plants because their blooms are so exotic, especially the lobster claws. This plant is related to the banana and traveler's tree. Here in central Florida I've had fairly good luck with blooms forming on H. rostrata (pictured below) and the smaller H. psittacorum, but I'm still waiting on several others, including one with very large 8 to 10 feet tall banana tree sized leaves that my sister brought to me as a small "pup" 2 or 3 years ago from Key West.
These eye catching plants can range from 2 feet to 10 feet in height. They prefer consistantly moist, but not wet, soil, and they are heavy feeders. Spent plants and flowers can be cut to the ground each year, and rhizomes should be divided and replanted every few years. Most prefer some strong sun, but some will perform well in shade. They have few diseases except when the soil conditions are too wet.
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